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Anisim Lukin
Anisim Lukin

Getting Started with R and RStudio on Mac - A Step-by-Step Guide


How to Download and Use RStudio on Mac




R is an open-source programming language that is widely used for statistical computing, data analysis, and data visualization. It has a large and active community of users and developers who contribute to its rich set of packages and functions.


RStudio is an integrated development environment (IDE) that makes working with R easier and more efficient. It provides a user-friendly interface that allows you to write, run, debug, and document your code in one place. It also offers tools for creating interactive graphics, reports, dashboards, web applications, and more.




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In this article, you will learn how to download and install both R and RStudio on your Mac computer. You will also learn how to use some of the basic features of RStudio, such as creating and running an R script, using keyboard shortcuts, managing projects, and creating documents with R Markdown. By the end of this article, you will be ready to start your own data science projects with RStudio.


What do you need to install R and RStudio?




Before you can install RStudio on your Mac, you need to have a recent version of R installed on your system. You can download both R and RStudio from their official websites:


How to download and install R and RStudio on Mac


R for macOS - RStudio


How to download R on Mac - MacPaw


RStudio for Mac - Free download and software reviews


How to update R and RStudio on Mac


RStudio Desktop for macOS 11+ - Download


How to uninstall R and RStudio from Mac


How to use R and RStudio on Mac


RStudio for Mac - Download.com


How to fix RStudio installation problems on Mac


How to run R scripts in RStudio on Mac


How to install packages in RStudio on Mac


How to set up a project in RStudio on Mac


How to connect to a database in RStudio on Mac


How to create a Shiny app in RStudio on Mac


How to debug R code in RStudio on Mac


How to publish your work with RStudio on Mac


How to customize your RStudio preferences on Mac


How to integrate Git with RStudio on Mac


How to use Markdown in RStudio on Mac


How to learn R and RStudio online for free on Mac


How to speed up your R code in RStudio on Mac


How to visualize data in RStudio on Mac


How to perform data analysis in RStudio on Mac


How to do machine learning in RStudio on Mac


How to do web scraping in RStudio on Mac


How to do text mining in RStudio on Mac


How to do sentiment analysis in RStudio on Mac


How to do natural language processing in RStudio on Mac


How to do geospatial analysis in RStudio on Mac


How to do network analysis in RStudio on Mac


How to do time series analysis in RStudio on Mac


How to do survival analysis in RStudio on Mac


How to do Bayesian statistics in RStudio on Mac


How to do linear regression in RStudio on Mac


How to do logistic regression in RStudio on Mac


How to do ANOVA in RStudio on Mac


How to do cluster analysis in RStudio on Mac


How to do principal component analysis in RStudio on Mac


How to do factor analysis in RStudio on Mac


How to do discriminant analysis in RStudio on Mac


How to do decision trees in RStudio on Mac


How to do random forests in RStudio on Mac


How to do support vector machines in RStudio on Mac


How to do neural networks in RStudio on Mac


How to do deep learning in RStudio on Mac


How to do reinforcement learning in RStudio on Mac


How to do recommender systems in RStudio on Mac


How to do association rules mining in RStudio on Mac


  • R for Mac



  • RStudio for Mac



The current version of R at the time of writing this article is 4.1.2 (Bird Hippie), which requires macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) or higher. The current version of RStudio at the time of writing this article is 2021.09.0 (Ghost Orchid), which requires macOS 10.14 (Mojave) or higher.


How to install R on Mac?




To install R on your Mac computer, follow these steps:


  • Go to of CRAN (The Comprehensive R Archive Network), which is a network of servers that host R packages and binaries.



  • Click on the link that says "Download R for Mac OS X". This will take you to a page with a list of R versions for Mac OS X.



  • Select the latest version of R (4.1.2 at the time of writing this article) and click on the link that says "R-4.1.2.pkg". This will download a file named "R-4.1.2.pkg" to your computer.



  • Double-click on the downloaded file to open it. This will launch the R installer, which will guide you through the installation process.



  • Follow the instructions on the screen and accept the default settings. You may need to enter your administrator password to complete the installation.



  • Once the installation is finished, you will see a message that says "The installation was successful". You can close the installer and delete the downloaded file if you want.



Congratulations, you have successfully installed R on your Mac!


How to install RStudio on Mac?




To install RStudio on your Mac computer, follow these steps:


  • Go to of RStudio, which is the official website of the RStudio IDE.



  • Click on the button that says "Download RStudio Desktop". This will take you to a page with a list of RStudio versions for different operating systems.



  • Select the latest version of RStudio (2021.09.0 at the time of writing this article) and click on the link that says "RStudio-2021.09.0.dmg". This will download a file named "RStudio-2021.09.0.dmg" to your computer.



  • Double-click on the downloaded file to open it. This will mount a disk image named "RStudio" on your desktop.



  • Drag and drop the RStudio icon from the disk image to your Applications folder. This will copy RStudio to your Applications folder.



  • Eject and delete the disk image if you want.



Congratulations, you have successfully installed RStudio on your Mac!


How to open and use RStudio?




To open RStudio, you can either double-click on the RStudio icon in your Applications folder, or use Spotlight to search for "RStudio" and launch it from there.


When you open RStudio for the first time, you will see a window with four panes, each containing a different component of the IDE:


  • The source editor pane (top left) is where you can write and edit your code. You can create new files, open existing files, save files, run code, debug code, and more.



  • The console pane (bottom left) is where you can interact with R directly. You can type commands, see results, view messages, errors, and warnings, and more.



  • The environment pane (top right) is where you can see and manage your objects in memory. You can view variables, data frames, functions, lists, and more.



  • The files pane (bottom right) is where you can access and manage your files and folders. You can browse, create, delete, rename, copy, move, and more.



Besides these four panes, there are also other tabs that you can access from the bottom right pane:


  • The plots tab is where you can see and manipulate your graphics created with R.



  • The packages tab is where you can see and manage your installed packages in R. You can install, update, remove, load, unload, and more.



  • The help tab is where you can access documentation and help for R functions and packages. You can search by keyword, browse by topic, or use the question mark (?) operator in the console.



  • The viewer tab is where you can view web content created with R, such as HTML documents, web applications, dashboards, etc.



How to create and run an R script?




An R script is a file that contains a sequence of commands and expressions that can be executed by R. To create an R script in RStudio, follow these steps:


  • In the source editor pane, click on the button that says "File" and select "New File" > "R Script". This will open a new tab with an empty script named "Untitled1".



Type or paste some code in the script. For example, you can type: # This is a comment x





  • To save the script, click on the button that says "File" and select "Save". You can choose a name and a location for your script. For example, you can name it "test.R" and save it in your Documents folder.



To run the script, you have several options:


  • You can click on the button that says "Source" in the top right corner of the source editor pane. This will run the entire script and show the results in the console pane.



  • You can select a line or a block of code and press Cmd + Enter (or Ctrl + Enter on Windows). This will run the selected code and show the results in the console pane.



  • You can use the keyboard shortcut Cmd + Shift + Enter (or Ctrl + Shift + Enter on Windows). This will run the current line or the next line of code and show the results in the console pane.




When you run your script, you will see something like this in the console pane:


> # This is a comment > x y mean(x) # Calculate the mean of x [1] 5.5 > sd(y) # Calculate the standard deviation of y [1] 6.324555 > plot(x, y) # Plot x versus y


You will also see a plot of x versus y in the plots tab:


<img src="" alt="A scatter plot of x versus y with a linear trend


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